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Publication numberUS20030215041 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/147,838
Publication dateNov 20, 2003
Filing dateMay 17, 2002
Priority dateMay 17, 2002
Also published asUS7251305
Publication number10147838, 147838, US 2003/0215041 A1, US 2003/215041 A1, US 20030215041 A1, US 20030215041A1, US 2003215041 A1, US 2003215041A1, US-A1-20030215041, US-A1-2003215041, US2003/0215041A1, US2003/215041A1, US20030215041 A1, US20030215041A1, US2003215041 A1, US2003215041A1
InventorsClaude Gauthier, Brian Amick, Dean Liu, Pradeep Trivedi
Original AssigneeGauthier Claude R., Amick Brian W., Dean Liu, Pradeep Trivedi
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method and apparatus to store delay locked loop biasing parameters
US 20030215041 A1
Abstract
A calibration and adjustment system for post-fabrication control of a delay locked loop bias-generator is provided. The calibration and adjustment system includes an adjustment circuit operatively connected to the bias-generator, where the adjustment circuit is controllable to facilitate a modification of a voltage output by the bias-generator. Such control of the voltage output by the bias-generator allows a designer to achieve a desired delay locked loop performance characteristic after the delay locked loop has been fabricated. A representative value of the amount of adjustment desired in the bias-generator output may be stored and subsequently read to adjust the delay locked loop.
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Claims(24)
What is claimed is:
1. An integrated circuit, comprising:
a clock path for carrying a clock signal;
a power supply path adapted to receive power from a power supply;
a delay locked loop connected to the power supply path, comprising:
a voltage-controlled delay line for generating a delayed clock signal dependent on an input thereto;
a phase detector for detecting a phase difference between the clock signal and the delayed clock signal; and
a bias-generator arranged to output a voltage to the input of the voltage-controlled delay line responsive to the phase detector;
an adjustment circuit operatively connected to the input of the voltage-controlled delay line, wherein the adjustment circuit is responsive to control information to adjust the voltage output by the bias-generator; and
a storage device adapted to store the control information to which the adjustment circuit is responsive.
2. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the adjustment circuit comprises a first switch to provide current flow between a first voltage provided by the power supply path and the input of the voltage-controlled delay line, and a second switch to provide current flow between a second voltage provided by the power supply path and the input of the voltage-controlled delay line.
3. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the adjustment circuit comprises a first p-channel transistor and a first n-channel transistor connected in series.
4. The integrated circuit of claim 3, the adjustment circuit further comprising:
a second p-channel transistor connected in parallel with the first p-channel transistor; and
a second n-channel transistor connected in parallel with the first n-channel transistor, wherein the first p-channel transistor and second p-channel transistor are in series with the first n-channel transistor and second n-channel transistor.
5. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the storage device comprises a storage element selected from a group consisting of an electrically programmable fuse, an electrically programmable read only memory, an electrically erasable read only memory, a one time programmable memory, and a flash memory.
6. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the storage device comprises a storage element selected from a group consisting of a laser programmable fuse and a laser programmable anti-fuse.
7. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the control information comprises a binary word.
8. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the control information comprises an instruction.
9. The integrated circuit of claim 1, further comprising:
a test processor unit operatively coupled to the storage device and the adjustment circuit.
10. The integrated circuit of claim 9, further comprising:
a tester adapted to communicate with the test processor unit, and read at least a portion of the control information in the storage device.
11. The integrated circuit of claim 9, further comprising:
a tester adapted to communicate with the test processor unit, and write at least a portion of the control information in the storage device.
12. The integrated circuit of claim 1, wherein the adjustment circuit is connected to the input of the voltage-controlled delay line with a wired-OR connection.
13. A method for post-fabrication treatment of a delay locked loop, comprising:
generating a delayed clock signal;
comparing the delayed clock signal to a clock signal;
adjusting the generating based on the comparing using a bias-generator;
generating a binary control word;
selectively adjusting an output of the bias-generator in the delay locked loop dependent on the binary control word;
operating the delay locked loop, wherein the selectively adjusting the output of the bias-generator modifies an operating characteristic of the delay locked loop; and
storing control information determined from the adjusting.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the selectively adjusting the output of the bias-generator comprises controlling a first current flow between a first voltage and the output of the bias-generator, and controlling a second current flow between a second voltage and the output of the bias-generator.
15. The method of claim 13, wherein the selectively adjusting the output of the bias-generator is performed by an adjustment circuit, wherein the adjustment circuit comprises a first switch to provide current flow between a first voltage and the output of the bias-generator, and a second switch to provide current flow between a second voltage and the output of the bias-generator.
16. The method of claim 13, wherein the selectively adjusting the output of the bias-generator is performed by an adjustment circuit, wherein the adjustment circuit comprises a first p-channel transistor and a first n-channel transistor, wherein the first p-channel transistor and the first n-channel transistor are connected in series.
17. The method of claim 16, the adjustment circuit further comprising:
a second p-channel transistor connected in parallel with the first p-channel transistor; and
a second n-channel transistor connected in parallel with the first n-channel transistor, wherein the first p-channel transistor and second p-channel transistor are in series with the first n-channel transistor and second n-channel transistor.
18. The method of claim 13, wherein the storing comprises at least one selected from a group consisting of electrically programming a fuse, electrically programming a read only memory, electrically erasing a read only memory, programming a one time programmable memory, and programming a flash memory.
19. The method of claim 13, wherein the storing comprises at least one selected from a group consisting of laser programming a fuse and laser programming an anti-fuse.
20. The method of claim 13, wherein generating the binary control word is performed by a test processor unit.
21. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
reading the control information using a test processor unit; and
operatively controlling the generating with the test processor unit.
22. The method of claim 13, further comprising:
reading the control information; and
instructing a test processor unit based on the control information to generate the binary control word.
23. The method of claim 13, wherein the control information represents an offset in the output of the bias-generator.
24. An integrated circuit, comprising:
delay locked loop means for generating a delayed clock signal, wherein the delay locked loop means comprises:
means for generating the delayed clock signal,
means for comparing the delayed clock signal to a clock signal,
means for adjusting the generating based on the comparing using a bias-generator,
means for generating a binary control word,
adjusting means for adjusting an output of the bias-generator in the delay locked loop dependent on the binary control word,
means for operating the delay locked loop, wherein the adjusting means modifies an operating characteristic of the delay locked loop; and
storing means for storing control information determined using the adjusting means.
Description
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0001] To increase processor performance, clock frequencies used by microprocessors, often referred to as “CPUs”, have increased. Also, as the number of circuits that can be used in a CPU has increased, the number of parallel operations has risen. As processor performance continues to increase, the result has been a larger number of circuits switching at faster rates. Thus, from a design perspective, important considerations, such as switching noise and signal integrity must be taken into account.

[0002] As the frequencies of modern computers continue to increase, the need to rapidly transmit data between chip interfaces also increases. To accurately receive data, a clock signal is often sent to help recover the data. The clock signal determines when the data should be sampled by a receiver's circuits. The clock signal may change state at the beginning of the time the data is valid. The receiver operates better when the clock signal is detected during the middle of the time the data is valid. Also, the clock signal may degrade as it travels from its transmission point. In both circumstances, a delay locked loop (DLL) can generate a copy of the clock signal at a fixed phase shift with respect to the original click signal.

[0003]FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of typical computer system components (5). Data (8) that is ‘N’ bits wide is transmitted from circuit A (6) to circuit B (7). To aid in the recovery of the transmitted data, a clock signal (9) is also transmitted with the data (8). The circuits (6,7) could also have a path (not shown) to transmit data from circuit B (7) to circuit A (6) along with an associated clock (not shown). The clock signal (9) may change from one state to another at the beginning of the data transmission to indicate when the data should be latched. A transition of the clock signal (9) temporally located some time after the beginning of when the data becomes valid is required for Circuit B (7) to properly latch the data. Furthermore, the clock signal (9) may have degraded during transmission. A DLL regenerates the clock signal (9) to a valid voltage and creates a phase shifted version of the clock signal to be used by other circuits, for example, a receiver's latching signal. The receiver's latching signal determines when the input to the receiver should be latched or sampled. The performance of a DLL is critical, and the DLL must maintain a proper reference of time with respect to a global clock signal on the CPU, or generically, an integrated circuit.

[0004] One common performance measure for a DLL is jitter. Jitter is the time domain error from poor spectral purity of an output. In other words, the clock signal (9) plus a known phase shift, should track the DLL output. For a signal with a repeated pattern, such as a clock signal, a transition that occurs from one state to another that does not occur at the same time relative to other transitions is said to have jitter. Jitter represents the perturbations that result in intermittent shortening or lengthening of signal elements. The DLL input, clock signal (9), may itself have jitter that may need to be transmitted to the DLL output. The DLL, however, may need to filter jitter created by other sources, such as power supply noise.

[0005]FIG. 2 shows a block diagram drawing of a representative DLL (200). Clock signal (201) is input to the DLL (200) to create a phased (i.e., delayed) output. Clock signal (201) is input to a voltage-controlled delay line (210) and to a phase detector (202). The phase detector (202) measures whether a phase difference between the clock signal (201) and an output, clk_out (217), of the delay path has the desired amount of delay. The phase detector (202) produces signals that control a charge pump (204). The phase detector (202) controls the charge pump (204) to increase or decrease its output current using signals up, U (203), and down, D (205). Internal biasing of the charge pump (204) maintains a nominal current output. The internal biasing of the charge pump (204) is dependent on bias signals VBP (209) and VBN (211). The signals up, U (203), and down, D (205), adjust the current output of the charge pump (204) with respect to the nominal current set by the control voltages, VBP (209) and VBN (211).

[0006] The charge pump (204) adds or removes charge from a capacitor C1 (206), that changes a DC value at the input of a bias-generator (208). The capacitor, C1 (206), is connected between a power supply, VDD, and a control signal , VCTRL (207). The bias-generator (208) produces control voltages (or bias voltages), VBP (209) and VBN (211), in response to the control signal, VCTRL (207), that control the delay of the voltage-controlled delay line (210) and maintain a nominal current output from the charge pump (204).

[0007] In FIG. 2, the voltage-controlled delay line (210) may be implemented using current starved elements. This means that the delays are controlled by modifying the amount of current available for charging and discharging capacitances. The linearity of a voltage controlled delay line's characteristics determines the stable range of frequencies over which the delayed lock loop can operate. An output of the voltage-controlled delay line (210), clk_out (217), represents a phase delayed copy of clock signal (201) which is used by other circuits.

[0008] Still referring to FIG. 2, the negative feedback created by clk_out (217) in the DLL (200) adjusts the delay through the voltage-controlled delay line (210) by integrating the phase error that results between the clock signal (201) and clk_out (217). The voltage-controlled delay line (210) will delay clk_out (217) by a fixed amount of time such that a desired delay between clock signal (201) and clk_out (217) exists. The speed of the DLL (200) response to a phase error is often related to loop bandwidth.

[0009] Delay locked loops are basically first order feedback control systems. As such, the delay locked loop can be described in the frequency domain as having a loop gain and a loop bandwidth. The loop bandwidth is the speed at which a signal completes the feedback loop of the delay locked loop to produce an update (i.e., error signal). Ideally, the DLL should have a high bandwidth so that the clock signal and data track each other. Noise, such as power supply noise will, however, have a certain noise-versus-frequency characteristic that may require the loop bandwidth to be reduced to attenuate the effects of the noise. The loop bandwidth determines to a large degree what portion of power supply noise is translated to jitter in the output of the DLL (200).

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0010] According to one aspect of the present invention, an integrated circuit comprises a clock path for carrying a clock signal; a power supply path adapted to receive power from a power supply; a delay locked loop connected to the power supply path comprises a voltage-controlled delay line for generating a delayed clock signal dependent on an input thereto, a phase detector for detecting a phase difference between the clock signal and the delayed clock signal, and a bias-generator arranged to output a voltage to the input of the voltage-controlled delay line responsive to the phase detector; an adjustment circuit operatively connected to the input of the voltage-controlled delay line where the adjustment circuit is responsive to control information to adjust the voltage output by the bias-generator; and a storage device adapted to store the control information to which the adjustment circuit is responsive.

[0011] According to one aspect of the present invention, a method for post-fabrication treatment of a delay locked loop comprises generating a delayed clock signal, comparing the delayed clock signal to a clock signal, adjusting the generating based on the comparing using a bias-generator, generating a binary control word, selectively adjusting an output of the bias-generator in the delay locked loop dependent on the binary control word, operating the delay locked loop where the selectively adjusting the output of the bias-generator modifies an operating characteristic of the delay locked loop; and storing control information determined from the adjusting.

[0012] According to one aspect of the present invention, delay locked loop means for generating a delayed clock signal where the delay locked loop means comprises means for generating the delayed clock signal, means for comparing the delayed clock signal to a clock signal, means for adjusting the generating based on the comparing using a bias-generator, means for generating a binary control word, adjusting means for adjusting an output of the bias-generator in the delay locked loop dependent on the binary control word, means for operating the delay locked loop where the adjusting means modifies an operating characteristic of the delay locked loop; and storing means for storing control information determined using the adjusting means.

[0013] Other aspects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0014]FIG. 1 shows a typical computer system component.

[0015]FIG. 2 shows a prior art delay locked loop block diagram.

[0016]FIG. 3 shows an adjustable delay locked loop with a storage device block diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0017]FIG. 4 shows a bias-generator circuit diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0018]FIG. 5 shows an adjustment circuit diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0019]FIG. 6A shows a storage device schematic diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

[0020]FIG. 6B shows a timing diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention for the storage device schematic diagram shown in FIG. 6A.

[0021]FIG. 7 shows a flow diagram in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0022] Exemplary embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. Like items in the drawings are shown with the same reference numbers throughout several figures for consistency.

[0023] Embodiments of the present invention relate to an adjustment and calibration system for post-fabrication adjustment of a delay locked loop bias-generator. The adjustment and calibration system includes an adjustment circuit that may change a nominal voltage produced on the output of the bias-generator. The adjustment circuit has a wired-OR connection to an output of the bias-generator. The change in voltage produced on the output of the bias-generator adjusts the voltage to the input of the voltage-controlled oscillator. The adjustment circuit allows modification of the output of the bias-generator, and consequently adjusts an operating characteristic of the delay locked loop. The adjustment and calibration system may also store control information representative of the desired amount of adjustment of the output of the bias-generator. The control information may be read and the adjustment circuit adjusted by a test processor unit.

[0024] In a DLL, several operating characteristics may be important indicators of good performance. For example, operating characteristics such as a DLL's response to jitter, possible phase delay range using the minimum and maximum input clock signal frequency, lock time, etc. may be important considerations for designers. The ability to ensure the desired operating characteristics after the DLL is fabricated is not always possible.

[0025] For example, jitter can be a function of various parameters: power supply variation, input and output jitter, loop bandwidth, substrate noise, etc. Although a designer may intend for an integrated circuit to have particular values for these parameters, actual values for these parameters are typically unknown until the integrated circuit has been fabricated (i.e., in a post-fabrication stage). For example, a designer may intend for the loop bandwidth of the DLL to be within in a particular range. The loop bandwidth may be unintentionally affected by many factors in the fabrication process. Because the loop bandwidth cannot be redesigned in the post-fabrication stage without considerable temporal and monetary expenditures, these fabrication factors may cause the DLL to have a different loop bandwidth range than the range it was designed to have and therefore may have poor jitter performance.

[0026] In FIG. 2, the frequency response of the representative DLL (200) may be analyzed with a Laplace transform approximation, where the sample operation of the phase detector is ignored. This approximation is useful for loop bandwidths about a decade or more below the operating frequency of the DLL. This loop bandwidth constraint is also required for stability due to the reduced phase margin near the higher order poles that result from the delay around the sampled feedback loop. The DLL has a first-order closed loop response. The response could be formulated in terms of input phase and output phase. This set of variables, however, is incompatible with a continuous time analysis since the sampled nature of the system would need to be considered. A better set of variables is input delay and output delay. The output delay is the delay between clock signal (201) and the DLL output, clk_out (217), or equivalently, the delay established by the voltage-controlled delay line (210). The input delay is the delay for which the phase detector (202) and charge pump (204) generate no error signal. The output delay, DO(s), is related to the input delay, DI(s), by the input-to-output transfer function, DO(s)/DI(s)=1/(1+s/p), assuming no delay due to noise. The variable p (in rads/s) is the pole of the loop as determined by the charge pump (204) current, the phase detector (202) gain, the bias-generator (208) gain, the voltage-controlled delay line (210) gain, and the capacitor C1 (206).

[0027] VBP (209) is generally equal to VCTRL (207). Any deviation from the ideal value of one may need to be corrected. If there is an offset in VBP (209) due to variations in fabrication, the delay of the voltage-controlled delay line will not match the simulated performance. In extreme cases, the DLL may not be able generate the expected delay.

[0028] For example, if clock (201) is at the highest specified frequency, the control voltage VCTRL (207) may be at a low voltage. If VBP (209) has an offset such that VBP (209) is above the VCTRL (207) voltage, the voltage-controlled delay line (210) delay will never be able to generate a short enough delay to achieve a lock. Conversely, if clock (201) is at the lowest specified frequency, the control voltage VCTRL (207) may be at a high voltage. If VBP (209) has an offset such that VBP (209) is below the VCTRL (207) voltage, the voltage-controlled delay line (210) delay will never be able to generate a long enough delay to achieve a lock.

[0029]FIG. 3 shows an embodiment of an adjustable DLL (300) in accordance with the invention. The adjustable DLL (300) includes the DLL (200) as in FIG. 2. An adjustment circuit (354) controlled by a test processor unit (352), and a storage device (358) are also included. The adjustment circuit (354) may be designed similar to the exemplary adjustment circuit (500) shown in FIG. 5. The phase detector (302), charge pump (304), capacitor C1 (306), bias-generator (308) and voltage-controlled delay line (310) of the adjustable DLL (300) may operate similarly to the DLL (200 in FIG. 2) as previously described.

[0030] In FIG. 3, the test processor unit (352) generates a binary control word that determines the settings of the adjustment circuit (354). The test processor unit (352) controls the adjustment circuits (354) using multiple adjustment signals K (353) to form the binary control word. The values of the multiple adjustment signals K (353) are determined by the test processor unit (352). The test processor unit (352) may communicate through a host interface (not shown) using M communication lines (351). Those with ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the host interface and M communication lines (351) may take a wide variety of forms. The host interface may be operatively connected to a separate computer system. The communication may be defined by an industry standard.

[0031] The host interface (not shown) may be used to operatively connect to a separate computer system. For example, a tester (350) may communicate with the test processor unit (352). The tester (350) may instruct the test processor unit (352) to adjust adjustment circuit (354) to modify an operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300). The tester (350) may measure an operating characteristic of the adjustable DLL (300) or a representative operating characteristic of an integrated circuit on which the adjustable DLL (300) resides to determine the effect of the adjustment. A variety of different adjustments may be made in an effort to identify the adjustment settings that produce the desired operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300).

[0032] For example, the tester (350) may be used to adjust the adjustable DLL (300) until the optimal signal clock signal jitter performance is achieved. The tester (350) may also be used to adjust the adjustable DLL (300) until the optimal power supply jitter performance is achieved. Also, the tester (350) may be used to adjust the adjustable DLL (300) until the operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300) reaches a desired performance level. The operating characteristics may include jitter response, maximum operating frequency, minimum operating frequency, lock time, etc.

[0033] The storage device (358) may be designed to store control information representative of the adjustment settings that produce the desired operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300). Using the tester (350), control information may be written into the storage device (358). The tester (350) may read or rewrite the control information in the storage device (358).

[0034] The storage device (358) may include multiple storage elements such that the control information may be represented by a binary word. For example, the control information stored in the storage device (358) may be a binary word that matches the values of the multiple adjustment signals K (353). Alternatively, the control information may be a binary encoded word. For example, if the multiple adjustment signals K (353) used eight control signals, the control information might be represented with a three bit binary word. Alternatively, the control information may contain instructions, interpreted by the test processor unit (352), to control the multiple adjustment signals K (353).

[0035] In FIG. 3, the tester (350) may be removed from the adjustable DLL (300), or the integrated circuit on which the adjustable DLL (300) resides. The test processor unit (352) may read the storage device (358) to obtain the control information and determine the amount of adjustment that should occur in adjustment circuit (354). The adjustable DLL (300), after the test processor unit (352) reads the control information in the storage device (358) and adjusts the adjustment circuit (354), may have an operating characteristic similar to the operating characteristics obtained while connected to the tester (350). The test processor unit (352) reads the control information from storage device (358) using the L signal lines (363).

[0036] The output of the adjustment circuit (354) is connected to the control voltage, VBP (309), using a wired-OR connection. The control voltage, VBP (309), is generated as an output from the bias-generator (308). Depending on the binary control word from the test processor unit (352), multiple adjustment signals K (353) adjust the output of the adjustment circuit (354). An adjustment on control voltage VBP (309) may modify an operating characteristic of the adjustable DLL (300). For example, process or manufacturing variations may create an offset in the control voltage, VBP (309), from a desired nominal operating value. The adjustment circuit (354) may adjust the voltage of the output from the bias-generator (308), or equally the input to the voltage-controlled delay line (310), to correct the offset.

[0037] One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that even though the adjustment circuit (354) may be connected to the control voltage, VBP (309), of the bias-generator (308), the adjustment circuit (354) may be turned “off.” The adjustment circuit (354) may not have an effect on the adjustable DLL (300). Further, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the adjustable DLL (300) may be analog, digital, or a combination of both types of circuits.

[0038]FIG. 4 shows a bias-generator circuit (400) in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. The input voltage, VCTRL (307), in FIG. 3 is the input to the bias-generator circuit (400). The bias-generator (400) produces control voltages, VBP (409) and VBN (407), in response to the input voltage, VCTRL (401). The input voltage, VCTRL (401), is input to a comparator (410) and the gate of a p-channel transistor (404). P-channel transistors (402, 404) form a differential pair where p-channel transistor (402) is diode connected using signal (403). Signal (403) is also connected to the comparator (410). The comparator (410) adjusts its output, control voltage VBN (407), to create a zero voltage difference between input voltage, VCTRL (401), and signal (403).

[0039] The control voltage VBN (407) adjusts the current flow through n-channel transistors (408, 418). N-channel transistors (406, 416) provides resistive elements, as their gates are connected to VDD. P-channel transistors (412, 414) form another differential pair where p-channel transistors (412, 414) are both diode connected using control voltage, VBP (409). The control voltage, VBP (409), may have a nominal voltage similar in value to the input voltage, VCTRL (401). Due to process variations during manufacture or simulation modeling different from the physical transistors, the control voltage, VBP (409), may not have a similar voltage value, i.e., offset, to the input voltage, VCTRL (401). The adjustment circuit (500) in FIG. 5 provides a means to correct the offset.

[0040] Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the bias-generator circuit (400) shows a circuit arrangement in which the control voltage, VBP (409), may have a nominal voltage similar in value to the input voltage, VCTRL (401). A bias-generator may also be designed such that the control voltage, VBN (407), may have a nominal voltage similar in value to the input voltage, VCTRL (401). In this arrangement, the control voltage, VBP (409), may be representative of a voltage necessary to create a zero voltage difference between two inputs to a comparator. In this arrangement, the adjustment circuit (354) in FIG. 3 may have its output connected to the control voltage, VBN (407), in FIG. 4, instead of the control voltage, VBP (409). The ability to adjust the adjustable DLL (300) in FIG. 3 with this arrangement is expected to be similar to the ability to adjust the adjustable DLL (300) in FIG. 3 using the bias-generator circuit (400) shown in FIG. 4.

[0041]FIG. 5 shows an embodiment in accordance with the invention. An adjustment circuit (500) may include multiple p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) arranged in parallel with each other. The multiple p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) connect between the power supply VDD and a common node, VADJ. The adjustment circuit also includes multiple n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) arranged in parallel with each other. The multiple n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) connect between ground, VSS, and a common node, VADJ.

[0042] Each transistor may have an individual control signal to turn “on” or “off” one or more of the p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) or n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512). The p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) have control signals EN_P0 (501), EN_P1 (505), and EN_PN (509) connected to their gates, respectively. The n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) have control signals EN_N0 (503), EN_N1 (507), and EN_NN (511) connected to their gates, respectively. A low voltage on any of the EN_PX signals (501, 505, 509) will turn “on” their respective p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510). A high voltage on any of the EN_NX signals (503, 507, 511) will turn “on” their respective n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512).

[0043] Any p-channel transistor (502, 506, 510) that is “on” will change the voltage on VADJ toward VDD. Any n-channel transistor (504, 508, 512) that is “on” will change the voltage on VADJ toward VSS. By selecting which p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) and/or n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) are ‘on’, a change in the voltage on VADJ may be achieved.

[0044] Those with ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) and n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) may be turned “on” individually or as a group. The p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) and n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) may be sized so that one or more of the transistors has a different effect than that of the other transistors. The gate widths of the p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) and n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) may be designed to provide a linear, exponential, or other function as more transistors are turn “on”. The p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510) and n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512) may be sized so that each transistor has a different resistance. For example, the transistor gate lengths may be increased (i.e., long channel transistors) to increase the inherent resistance of each transistor. A larger inherent resistance may be advantageous if both a p-channel transistor and a n-channel transistor are “on” simultaneously. In an embodiment of the present invention, the adjustment circuit (500) may include only one p-channel transistor (e.g., p-channel transistor (502)) and one n-channel transistor (e.g., n-channel transistor (504)) connected in series.

[0045] The adjustment circuit (500) in FIG. 5 may be used as the adjustment circuit (354) shown in FIG. 3. The multiple adjustment signals K (353 in FIG. 3) may represent EN_NX signals (503, 507, 511 in FIG. 5) and EN_PX signals (501, 505, 509 in FIG. 5). The multiple adjustment signals K (353 in FIG. 3) may turn “on” or “off” the p-channel transistors (502, 506, 510 in FIG. 5) and n-channel transistors (504, 508, 512 in FIG. 5) in the adjustment circuit (354 in FIG. 3). The common node, VADJ (FIG. 5), of the adjustment circuit (354 in FIG. 3) may adjust the voltage on control voltage, VBP (309), in FIG. 3.

[0046] One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that even though adjustment circuits (500) may be connected to the output (control voltage VBP (309) in FIG. 3) of the bias-generator (308 in FIG. 3), it is possible that a few or none of the circuit elements included in adjustment circuit (500) may have an effect on the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3), because adjustment circuit (354 in FIG. 3) may be turned “off”. Furthermore, an adjustment circuit (500) may be operatively connected to the output (control voltage VBP (309) in FIG. 3) of the bias-generator (308 in FIG. 3) to affect a change in an operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3).

[0047]FIG. 6A shows an embodiment of a storage device (600) in accordance with the invention. The storage device (600) may be used for the storage device in the adjustable DLL shown at (358 in FIG. 3). The storage device (600) includes electrically programmable fuses (604, 654) to store nonvolatile control information.

[0048] In FIG. 6A, multiple write signals such as write fuse 1 (601) through write fuse L (651) are used to program electrically programmable fuses (604, 654), respectively. A “high” voltage on write fuse 1 (601) and write fuse L (651) cause n-channel transistors (602, 652), respectively, to turn “on.” If n-channel transistors (602, 652) are “on” for a sufficient duration, the fuse (604) and fuse (654), respectively, will create an “open” circuit. A precharge fuse (603) signal will pulse a “high” voltage on the gates of n-channel transistors (612, 662) to momentarily turn them “on.” If n-channel transistors (612, 662) are “on,” fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) will be pulled to a “low” voltage by n-channel transistors (612, 662). The “low” voltage on fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) will precharge fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) in anticipation of a read operation.

[0049] In FIG. 6A, a “high” voltage on read fuse (605) will cause n-channel transistors (610, 660) to turn “on.” If any of the fuses (604, 654) are intact (i.e., shorted), fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) will be pulled to a “high” voltage. If any of the fuses (604, 654) are open, fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) will remain at a “low” voltage. The sense amplifiers (606, 656) will sense the voltage levels on fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659), respectively, to amplify and maintain the voltage levels.

[0050]FIG. 6B shows a timing diagram (690) related to the programming of storage device (600) in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. In this example, write fuse 1 (601) is pulsed to a “high” voltage to create an “open” on fuse (604). Write fuse L (651) remains at a “low” voltage to leave fuse (604) intact. Precharge fuse (603) signal pulses a “high” voltage to pull fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) to a “low” voltage. Read fuse (605) pulses a “high” voltage to read the state of the fuses (604, 654). Because fuse (604) is “open”, fuse out 1 (609) remains at a “low” voltage. Because fuse (654) is intact or “shorted”, fuse out L (659) is pulled to a “high” voltage.

[0051] Because the fuses (604, 654) have been programmed and read, fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659) maintain the programmed control information. The state of the fuses (604, 654) may be read at any time by observing the voltage level on fuse out 1 (609) and fuse out L (659). Also, the state of the fuses (604, 654) may be read by repeating the precharge and read cycles. Using multiple fuses and related circuitry, a binary word may represent the stored control information.

[0052] One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the electrically programmed fuses are but one method to store information. The storage device (358 in FIG. 3) may contain a wide variety of types of storage elements including, but not limited to, an electrically programmable fuse, an electrically programmable read only memory, an electrically erasable read only memory, a one time programmable memory, a flash memory, a laser programmable fuse, and a laser programmable anti-fuse.

[0053]FIG. 7 shows a flow diagram in accordance with an embodiment of a method according to the invention. Initially, an adjustment circuit value is selected (702). The selected adjustment value may be used to adjust adjustment circuit (354 shown in FIG. 3). The adjustment circuit (354 shown in FIG. 3) may create an offset in the voltage input to the voltage-controlled oscillator (310 in FIG. 3). The adjustment of the voltage input to the voltage-controlled oscillator (310 in FIG. 3) modifies an operating characteristic of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3). For example, the jitter of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) may be measured as the system clock signal (FIG. 3) is jittered or the power supply noise is modified. Also, the performance of other circuits that rely on the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) may be measured. The operating characteristics are then measured (704).

[0054] Next, a determination as to whether a desired operating characteristic(s) ha been obtained (706). The determination may be based on an operating characteristic(s) taken with the selected adjustment circuit value, or an interpolation or extrapolation from data obtained from selectively adjusting the adjustment circuit value. If the desired operating characteristic(s) has not been obtained, these steps (702) and (704) are repeated until a desired operating characteristic(s) has been obtained (706). If the desired operating characteristic(s) has been obtained (706), the adjustment circuit value, or a representation of the value, is stored (708). The desired adjustment circuit value or representation of the value may be stored as control information in the storage device (358 in FIG. 3). The storage device (358 in FIG. 3) may contain control information that may be accessed and used to improve the performance of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) after fabrication.

[0055] Advantages of the present invention may include one or more of the following. The adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3), having been fabricated, may demonstrate operating characteristics that may not have been apparent from simulation. In some embodiments, because the adjustment circuit (354 in FIG. 3) may modify the operating characteristics of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3), the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) may be calibrated.

[0056] In one or more embodiments, because the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) may be fabricated with a means for adjusting the voltage output of the bias-generator (308 in FIG. 3), fewer design iterations and higher confidence in the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) operating characteristics may be afforded. Likewise, the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) response to various system disturbances such as power supply noise and system clock signal jitter may be realistically determined and calibrated to minimize these effects.

[0057] In one or more embodiments, the tester (350 in FIG. 3) and test processor unit 352 in FIG. 3) may communicate so that the state of the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) may be obtained, performance characteristics analyzed, and/or adjustments made to the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3). By using the tester (350 in FIG. 3), control information may be stored in a storage device (358 in FIG. 3).

[0058] In one or more embodiments, the tester (350 in FIG. 3) may take a relatively long time to determine the desired value and program the control information. Because the control information is programmed, the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) and the integrated circuit on which it resides may quickly (for example, within a few nanoseconds) adjust the adjustable DLL (300 in FIG. 3) to obtain proper operation.

[0059] In one or more embodiments, a limited number of adjustable DLLs (300 in FIG. 3) may need to be tested to determine the desired value for the control information for a larger number of adjustable DLLs (300 in FIG. 3).

[0060] While the invention has been described with respect to a limited number of embodiments, those skilled in the art, having benefit of this disclosure, will appreciate that other embodiments can be devised which do not depart from the scope of the invention as disclosed herein. Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be limited only by the attached claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7301380Apr 12, 2006Nov 27, 2007International Business Machines CorporationDelay locked loop having charge pump gain independent of operating frequency
US7453296Sep 12, 2007Nov 18, 2008International Business Machines CorporationDelay locked loop having charge pump gain independent of operating frequency
US7599677 *Mar 31, 2004Oct 6, 2009Broadcom CorporationCharge pump circuit having switches
Classifications
U.S. Classification375/376
International ClassificationH03L7/081
Cooperative ClassificationH03L7/0812
European ClassificationH03L7/081A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 3, 2011FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
May 17, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:GAUTHIER, CLAUDE R.;AMICK, BRIAN W.;LIU, DEAN;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:012921/0090;SIGNING DATES FROM 20020506 TO 20020517